Monday, June 2, 2014

Accountability is good

I imagine anyone that "works at home", or is a stay-at-home-mom, struggles with accountability from time to time.  I know I do.  It's easy to wear PJs all day, to throw in a frozen pizza instead of cooking that 4 course meal, to not shower all day...  I'll stop there because my list is embarrassingly long.  Being a mom is hard, and being THE caregiver 7 days a week is a service to your family.  You're giving yourself 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  There's no one else to pass the buck to most of the time. 

Recently, there have been changes happening in my household.  Elijah starting preschool in the fall has been a big deal for me.  I quit working a few days before giving birth to him, 4 1/2 years ago, and have been at home with our kids ever since.  And now, he will be entering the school world, half a day this first year, then all day after that.  And Noah will be starting next fall, only one year behind Elijah in school.  So I guess realizing these things, and deciding I'm ready to be more of a normal human being has prompted me to get myself in line.

I started with myself.  I told Chris I wanted a new wardrobe.  Primarily, my day to day clothing consists of sweats, old high school or college t-shirts, sneakers, and ponytails.  Certainly no makeup.  I gotta put my foot down (to myself, I guess!)  So I went SHOPPING. And while everything isn't quite fitting right yet (to those who don't know me well - I struggle with weight issues from ulcerative colitis - which is a work in progress), I'm so happy to have adult clothes again...AND well-fitting bras!  I also decreed that showers will be taken each MORNING, with acceptable clothes put on after that, and once the kids are in bed, I can change to my sleep wear (new for me - before was always a t-shirt and sweats!) and relax.  No more grocery shopping at 10pm.  Relax, chat with my husband, and then go to bed.  NOT fall asleep on the couch. 

The other thing I'm implementing is a cleaning schedule.  This is probably my biggest blunder.  I am perfectly fine playing with the kids, or weaving, or knitting, or cooking, or gardening .....  etc..... instead of cleaning.  Insert accountability once again.  When we lived in Kansas City, we had a LARGE rental home and I was pregnant with Noah.  I HAD to have a cleaning schedule.  So I dusted that schedule off and made some changes.  I want to share it with you.  Who knows, maybe you need a little inspiration, too!

Some of the changes I made correlate with energy usage - I'm enrolled with a time-specific pricing program with the electric company, so I avoid doing chores that require electricity between the hours of 2-7pm, when my energy costs are highest.  I also dry many clothes on the line outside.

Now, there are chores that I do every day that this schedule makes no mention of: dishes, picking up, etc.  But for any given day of the week, I can look at this list and know what I have to accomplish BEFORE I can proceed with my knitting or weaving.  It gives me motivation. 

I've been very consistent with it for 4 weeks now, and I'm happy that I can get my household obligations done, as well as most of my knitting and weaving jobs.  They suffer a small amount, but ya know.... my family is my job right now.  All the rest is just fluff.

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